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  1. #1
    Senior Member Plainsman's Avatar
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    Do I need a star nut install tool?

    You all were so awesome when I needed help with a torque wrench (it's on the way), I thought you might be willing to help me with this one as well?

    Newbie, still first build project. I had the LBS do my headset, and they left a 2" stack so I could adjust it myself to dial in the fit. I want to move spacers from below the stem to above it. Here's my question: Will I need to remove the star nut and reinstall it to do this? If so, I was going to order a star nut install tool.

    I've been told to let the bike rest on the ground with wheels on, and let the weight of the bike keep hold the fork on. Then remove the top cap, remove the spacers, replace in proper order, and replace the top cap (I guess there is a torque setting for the cap and stem). At this point I guess I can also make sure the bars and fork/wheel are aligned?

    I'm as green as they come when it comes to assembling a road bike (or any bike). Am I on the right track here? Any tips or tricks would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    Do you need a star nut install tool?
    If you know what you're doing, the answer is no. I use the stem cap bolt and a rubber mallet to carefully tap the star nut into place. It takes a little practice trying to keep the star nut straight while tapping it in the steerer tube.
    .cinelli.olympic.surly.long.haul.trucker.kona.ku.surly.steamroller.
    .litespeed.classic.litespeed.firenze.bianchi.pista.dean.colonel.plus.more.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Plainsman's Avatar
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    Well, I wouldn't put myself in the "knows what he's doing camp" yet. This will be the first time I've even seen a star nut (I'm hoping it actually looks like a star and that will give it away). Seriously though, will I actually have to remove the star nut to swap out spacers and lower the stem, or can this be done while leaving the star nut in place?

  4. #4
    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    The star nut can be further tapped lower as you shorten the steerer tube later on....
    .cinelli.olympic.surly.long.haul.trucker.kona.ku.surly.steamroller.
    .litespeed.classic.litespeed.firenze.bianchi.pista.dean.colonel.plus.more.

  5. #5
    Last one to the top... Little Darwin's Avatar
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    No, you won't need a star nut tool to move spacers.

    You need to remove the cap using an allen wrench to take out the retainer bolt, remove the stem, remove the spacers you want to move above the stem.

    When the cap is off, you can look into the steerer and see the star nut. It will be just fine to leave it where it is until you are sure you like the lower position.

    Now, put on the stem, put on the spacers and then tighten down the cap using an allen wrench in the retaining bolt to preload the bearings, then tighten the stem.

    If you later want to shorten the steerer so that you don't need spacers above the stem, then you will need to cut the stem and drive the star nut further in or potentially replace it. Until then, you can experiment with different stem heights...
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Plainsman's Avatar
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    Just what I needed to know. Thanks!

  7. #7
    Geezer Member Grampy™'s Avatar
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    I needed a new star nut last year..... I took the fork into the LBS and asked them to install it for me, it took him about 30 seconds and I think her charged me a buck fifty for the nut and nothing for the installation.
    Carpe who?

  8. #8
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    The starnut tool is a convenience for installing one from scratch but unneeded to reposition one lower. Get a longer suitably threaded bolt (M6x1.0 usually) and thread through the top cap and into the star nut. The top cap will act as a centering quide so you don't tip the nut as you drive it deeper. Mark the distance you want to lower the star nut on the bolt shank above the top cap. Then tap the bolt down until yout index mark is even with the top cap. Remove the long bolt and reassemble the bike with the standard bolt.

  9. #9
    Senior Member capwater's Avatar
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    Shove in a socket slightly smaller than the ID of the steerer and carefully tap it down. That way keep the splines properly oriented so the nut goes in straight.

  10. #10
    or tarckeemoon, depending marqueemoon's Avatar
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    I drove my star nut into the uncut fork and rode it around with a ****load of spacers for weeks until I was sure I had the stem where I wanted it and how much steerer I wanted to have above the stem in case I changed my mind later (a little under 1cm in my case).

    I used a bolt from a quill stem to drive mine down to where I wanted it. I measured where I wanted the top of the star nut's threading to be (about a cm below the top of the stem) and marked that spot on the stem bolt with a Sharpie. When my mark on the stem bolt was level with the top of the uncut fork I got out the pipe cutter (steel steerer of course) and cut the steerer. It worked perfectly.

  11. #11
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    why use a star nut if its possible to use a carbon fiber fsa compressor????? just drop it into the steerer collumn tight a lot... put the spacers and other ****, put compressor cup and tight it... DONE! if u want to take it out... 1 min max. star nuts suck

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